By Erin Kruse
Director of the Center for Service and Volunteerism
On this Giving Tuesday, you have the opportunity to think about causes and organizations (NAU and others) that are important to you and consider giving to them. So, it naturally raises the questions: What does giving mean to you? Giving your money is a very personal choice and one that may not always be possible, but volunteering is a great option for everyone!
I have worked in the field of volunteer engagement since 2005, and it’sit has been a privilege to be a part of people’s service journeys, whether they volunteer once or once a week. I’ve had the opportunity to see generations of families volunteer together, honor adults who have given thousands of hours of their time and help people make a volunteer connection for the very first time. What each of these people had in common was the fact that they took the (sometimes daunting) first step.
When people are asked why they don’t volunteer, the responses often fall into three categories: “I don’t have time,” “no one has asked me,” or “I don’t know where to begin.” NAU’s Center for Service and Volunteerism (CSV) can help you with all three of those responses if they resonate with you.
- Don’t have time, you say? You do now! NAU’s Community Engagement Policy went into effect in January, and all benefit-eligible staff have 16 hours of paid time to use during their normal workdays to volunteer with a non-profit, non-partisan community organization which is designated as an IRS Code 501(c)(3) agency. Have you used any of the time available to you? While it can be difficult to set aside time in your workday to leave your office and go volunteer, I can assure you it will be worth the effort.
- No one’s asked you? Consider this your official ask. Will you consider volunteering for two hours sometime in the next month? Start small and go from there.
- Don’t know where to begin? CSV is here to help. We already partner with many non-profits in Flagstaff and around the state. We have a list of great local organizations that are ready for volunteers, so check this out as a starting point. You can also call our office at (928) 523-3560 and we can help point you in the right direction.
Most things in life are better when shared and volunteering is no different, so my final piece of advice is to buddy up. Ask your family, friends, neighbors or coworkers to join you and share the experience.
Best of luck!